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King County is committed to helping youth involved in Juvenile Court develop into healthy, productive adults. While in detention, youth attend school and have access to medical care, mental health services, drug and alcohol counseling, and other programs and services.


All youth in detention are provided a standard school curriculum while in custody. Schooling is provided by Seattle Public School's Interagency Academy. Youth receive instruction in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, and Life Skills as appropriate for their age, school progress in the community, and prior level of achievement. Special Education curriculum is available if needed. Youth may also work towards their G.E.D. in the Detention School. In addition, the Seattle Public Schools teachers in the Detention School provide tutoring for status offender youth in the custody of Juvenile Detention.

The Alder Academy, an Interagency Academy of the Seattle Public Schools, is located in the Youth Services Center building outside of the secure detention area. Alder Academy serves students who are involved with the Juvenile Division's Electronic Home Monitoring program, Juvenile Court involved youth, and status offenders. Curriculum is tailored to the needs of each of the youth involved.

Seattle Interagency Schools provides instruction for youth 16-24 years of age and not working or not in school, at Youth Source (click the first item and scroll down). Youth Source works in close cooperation with Juvenile Detention's Day and Evening Reporting program to provide educational programming for youth attending Youth Source.

Programs and services

Structured church services are held every Sunday evening. Chaplains are also available for consultations with youth during the week. Youth may request chaplains from any denomination to visit with them while they are in Juvenile Detention.

King County Juvenile Detention manages a health clinic inside the secure detention facility, which includes infirmary beds. All youth are screened for physical and mental health needs upon admission to the facility. Those needs are addressed during their time in detention or referred to an outside facility if beyond the scope of the detention clinic. King County Juvenile Detention contracts with the University of Washington School of Medicine for health care and behavioral health services.

The Juvenile Health Clinic also partners with Public Health - Seattle and King County to provide women's health care, including sexually transmitted disease prevention and reproductive health. Confidential HIV testing and counseling is provided.

The Health Clinic refers youth needing substance abuse assessment and treatment to Juvenile Court Services and Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, which are held in secure detention on a weekly basis. The Health Clinic refers youth in need of additional mental health services to Superior Court's Mental Health Liaison program.

The Health Clinic works with several Public Health - Seattle and King County programs to provide intensive case management services, pregnancy and pre-natal health care for pregnant youth in custody. The Health Clinic also assists in connecting youth with the Adolescent Access Coordinator who facilitates health services in the community.

The Health Clinic is currently piloting a project that provides vision screening for youth in detention. An optometrist from the community provides a limited number of screenings once a week and can provide youth prescriptions for glasses, exercises for ocular problems, and referrals for continued care after release.

Powerful Voices provides programming in their STAGES (Strength through All-Girl Education and Support) for girls in Juvenile Detention three times a week. The goals of the Powerful Voices program are:

  • Personal Power
  • Safety
  • Activism
  • Girl Culture
  • Adult Guidance and Support

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are available on alternating days for girls and boys in secure detention. Participation is voluntary and tailored to the needs of adolescents.

The King County Library System operates a library branch in secure detention. All youth may use the library on assigned days for research projects or to check out and read books for leisure.

King County Juvenile Detention works with community partners to offer programs and activities including yoga, Fitness for All, Improv Night, and Reclaiming Black Manhood. King County's community partners are committed to providing positive and learning experiences for youth.

Alternatives to Secure Detention (ASD)

Youth using Electronic Home Monitoring live at home and wear an electronic monitoring device in the form of an ankle bracelet. Electronic Home Monitoring allows youth to remain within their family unit and their permanent school situation, but within set geographic boundaries and timeframes. Youth placed on Electronic Home Monitoring receive credit towards their sentences for all days spent on Electronic Home Monitoring as if they were in secure detention.

Youth placed in Group Care reside at a staff-secured group home contracted by King County where they receive 24-hour supervision. Group Care participants travel to the Alder Academy at the Youth Services Center for schooling every day. Youth in this program receive credit against their sentence for time spent in Group Care.